Nurses are at the heart of every country's health care system. What sort of problems do they face at work? What are the coping strategies that they and their organizations pursue? Drawing on the findings of a unique global survey of nurses' associations and unions, the authors provide clear answers to these and related questions at a time when population ageing, epidemics, privatization and understaffing are putting heightened pressures on health care systems around the world. Interestingly, the priority concerns of nurses' organizations the world over have much in common despite the widely differing national contexts in which they operate.